How to give the best relaxing massage
Important information to note:
• Always seek medical advice for pregnant women, as massage may be unsafe in some cases.
• One of the most important points to note is that without professional training, you should apply only light pressure with all of your techniques.
• Always remember to keep communication open throughout the massage and ask the person how they’re feeling so you can adjust your technique if necessary.
• Drinking water after a massage is important and reduces soreness and helps to remove waste products moved out from muscles during massage.
Before you begin
Make sure you are in a quiet setting, turn off all digital distractions. You may find it helpful to create a relaxing atmosphere by dimming lights, maybe lighting a candle and ensuring that the room is warm. Warm the oil in advance, by standing the bottle (make sure the bottle cap is on) in a little warm water.
Back and shoulders
This is perhaps the most classic area in the body where people feel tension and a massage here can lead to stress relief and is a great way to relax the muscles by easing and reducing tightness and relieving pain:
The person being massaged should be lying face down on a supportive comfortable surface (firm mattress or a carpeted floor) with arms down by their sides; have them turn their head to one side, switching sides halfway through.
Place your hands, palm down, at the base of the neck, with the spine between your thumbs. Glide your hands down the back, staying next to the spine. At the top of the buttocks, glide your hands out to the top the hips, then slide your hands up their sides and onto their shoulder blades. Make several circles with your whole palms over the shoulder blades then glide your hands down the back with your hands moving toward each other so they come together over the top of the buttocks. Again, glide over the top of the hips, then slide your hands back together over the lower back. Slide your hands up the back with the spine between your thumb edges.
At the top of the shoulders, slide your hands out over the tops of their shoulders and then slide them back together to the base of the neck. Repeat 3 – 5 times. Then, starting at the base of the neck, slide your palms out over the tops of the shoulders onto the very upper arm and then slide each palm all the way down the arms onto the hands and then slide off the hands with your fingers going between theirs. Repeat these strokes 3 – 5 times, varying direction and combining them as you like, using more oil as needed.
Feet and legs
This pampering massage is great for those who find themselves on their feet all day, and it can also help treat headaches, insomnia, and stress.
Using the flat of your palm, gently glide over the sole of the foot, repeating about five times with each hand. Then hold the foot firmly with both hands and use the thumbs to apply pressure throughout the bottom of the foot, working your way from the heel to the toes. Using long, gentle strokes along the outside of the thighs and calves, move upward from the foot towards the thighs and calves. For these areas, use a loose fist to make long, gentle strokes. Move from the foot upward when you make your strokes. This pushes blood towards the heart, increasing blood circulation.
Slide your hands up over the shin area from the ankle to just below the knee. Then move your hands behind the leg to the calf area and slide all the way back down to the ankle. After doing this a few times, work your way up and down the lower leg by using your thumbs to knead and scoop the sides of the leg. Work your way up the thigh area by making scooping passes with your hands on the outside and inside of the leg to stimulate the different muscles in the upper leg. Apply some pressure as you use your palm to press near the centre of the upper thigh.
A great way to relieve stress, the traditional head massage originates from India and is based on the ancient Ayurvedic form of healing.
Place hands, with fingers spread, to the sides of the head, and slowly move the hands up as if you are shampooing the hair. Once at the top of the head, let the fingers gently glide off and then lower your hands and move them around to a different area of the head. Repeat this over the entire scalp and then use a rubbing motion with just the fingertips.
An often overlooked part of the body during traditional massages, receiving a hand massage can be a blessing for anyone who uses their hands all day. It can be extremely relaxing and is also a great way to show affection.
With the recipient’s open palm facing you, hold the wrist and use your thumbs to gently but firmly apply pressure to the palm and work your way up each finger. Turn the hand over and starting with the little finger give it a good rub and then pull it a bit, repeating this for all the fingers including the thumb. To finish, place the person’s wrist in between your two wrists and shake from side to side.